Yesterday, Hart, Regina, Tami and I had a full and inspiring day tabling at the annual Reagan HS career fair. Representatives from a number of colleges, businesses and community organizations were set up in the gym. We were there to provide a different view of military life and militarism than the military recruiters who also were present. Reagan HS has a JROTC program, and JROTC students were dressed in uniform. A number of them came by our table to participate in the t-shirt challenge and talk with us about their plans for the future. Hart and Regina as military veterans spoke with students from their own experience. Regina had brought two jacket art pieces from her Fatigues Clothesline Project to display at our table. The jackets were covered in statements by veterans who have experienced Military Sexual Trauma (MST), one of the serious issues we raise in our materials.
About 75 students completed the t-shirt challenge over the course of the career fair, and it was good to talk with students about their hopes and plans. Two students told us about having participated in the historic Women's March on Austin last Saturday (Regina and her daughter and I had also participated), as did a Reagan teacher who stopped by the table, and they all spoke about how empowering and encouraging the huge march and rally were, and we agreed! We in SOY are very much opposed to the Trump agenda that is already increasing anxiety among families in our community. Life is challenging enough for our young adults who are working hard and hoping to further their education. Adding more worry and hardship by threatening to separate families, cut financial aid for college and create more division between people is cruel and damaging to our social fabric.
The Penny Poll results showed the Health Care category as the biggest priority with 28% of the penny vote, closely followed by Education with 27%, then 22% for the Environment, 13% for Humanitarian Aid and 10% for the Military. As always, if our high school students could decide on our national priorities, we would have a much healthier, better educated society and a more protected planet.
There were 75 written responses to our reflection question, and the majority of students cited racism as the primary supervillain that requires resistance. Following is a sampling of their responses that are indicative of what was written over all. Thank you to all Reagan Raiders for engaging with the questions we raised in the t-shirt challenge and for expressing your thoughts on these crucial issues.
A sampling of the student responses to the question:
"Of the Supervillains: Racism, Sexism, Poverty, Militarism and Ecocide, which will you resist? How?"